GCB Clears The Air
GEORGETOWN - Officials of the embattled Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) have issued a stinging media statement defending their right to remain the governing body for the game in the country. GCB officials said in a media release that they hoped better sense would prevail and have described the allegations swirling around them as "controversies manufactured".
"The West Indies Cricket Board has reiterated its recognition of the GCB as the sole cricketing administration for Guyana and we should be allowed to fulfill our mandate without any hindrance," said the media release issued on New Year's Day. Our next election of GCB office bearers is due in January 2013. We fully expect to be in compliance with all of the features of a modern sport organisation well before this date. We reiterate our willingness to work with all concerned parties for the advancement of our beautiful game."
The statement follows a decision by the government of Guyana to force the current GCB executive from office, appointing an interim management committee, under the chairmanship of the West Indies legend Clive Lloyd, to manage the day-to-day affairs of the national governing body. This stems from a ruling by the country's Chief Justice following a legal challenge about the legitimacy of the current executive after a controversial election of officers at the last annual general meeting during 2011.
"2011 can be regarded as the 'Year of the Legal Non-entity', a wonderful phrase that seems to apply only to the GCB," said the media release, referencing a statement in Justice Chang 's ruling that also questioned the legality of the ruling body. "There are many other legal non-entities performing important functions in our country that are being disregarded."
The media release said: "The GCB has since taken steps to correct this anomaly and will be able to announce shortly its completion of this process. Our member boards will all undergo scrutiny of their electoral process and audits of their organisations and procedures as part of this regularisation exercise." The GCB urged the Government to "stop playing political games with the livelihood of the national players and their families and allow the administration to function smoothly and unhindered."
"Our board stands strongly with our players and would like to continue its preparation of our national team to participate in the Caribbean T20 tournament scheduled to commence in a week's time," the media release said.
"Already the Board has had to cancel the two practice matches which were scheduled to be held on January 5 and 6 as the operations of the Board have been restricted by the Ministry of Sport placing padlocks on our offices. Our encampment is scheduled to resume on Tuesday and the team is supposed to leave our shores on January 7."
The statement also heaped scorn on reports about the state of the GCB's finances. Officials said all reports of impropriety were greatly exaggerated. "Amidst the continuous allegations of financial impropriety, the Government of Guyana, through then Minister Manzoor Nadir and the Friendly Societies Registrar, conducted a five-month audit and investigation (last year)," said the media release.
"The GCB passed this audit and investigation with a clean bill of health. . .The (auditor's) report has never been released to the public. In an effort to put this financial impropriety matter finally to rest, we demand that the...report be released immediately without delay."
The GCB said: "The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports caused the GCB to pay almost (US$5,000) to a firm for a forensic audit of its hostels, which was another bone of contention. The results are available to the minister and the public. The GCB was cleared of any wrongdoing and has always sought to conduct its affairs using best practices. These hostels have proven to very prudent investments by the board."
The GCB also claimed that the Government still owed the sporting body half of its US$100,000 sponsorship of the national team to the Champions League Twenty20 more than two years ago. - (CMC)